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Liberal Studies Courses

The curriculum in liberal studies includes required and elective courses in the social sciences and humanities, mathematics and the natural sciences, and the visual and performing arts. The revised curriculum provides students with offerings that aligns with the broader mission to create designers who are socially-engaged, and facilitates understanding of how their profession is impacted and impacts culture and society. Courses under this category offer students the opportunity to explore ideas and practices in the creative or performing arts. Typical offerings at the BAC will focus on the visual arts, creative writing, music, dance, or drama.

Social Sciences

Economics, Game Theory, and the Housing Market

Students in this course will learn tools to better understand economics and mechanisms of choice. The class will examine Micro and Macroeconomic concepts, drawing examples from the housing market and other architecture-related topics, and will use Game theory to understand individual and collective choices. The class is designed for students who have limited or no formal training in economics.

Cultural Geography Explored Inside Out

Have you ever wondered what kinds of connections exist between certain cultural practices and specific regions of the world? Perhaps you've been interested in what inspires individuals to get up and move for a new job? These are but a few of the questions we'll explore together in this course. Some of the topics include the ways in which globalization is transforming the American landscape and the ways in which economic realities affect where different groups of people choose to live.


Modern and Contemporary Art

This course focuses on the history of modern and contemporary art from the late nineteenth century through the twentieth century in Europe and United States. The objective of the course is to provide an overview of the major works of art and avant-garde movements during this period. The course also examines shifting definitions of modernism and modernity, the relationships between art and politics, and the cultural functions of the modern art museum. Through reading a combination of primary and secondary sources, we will work to understand and thoughtfully respond to historical narratives and debates.

Writing Poems

This course will introduce students to the pleasurable, hard work of writing poems. Participants will work towards mastering the craft of poetry including uses of sound, rhythm, images, the word, the line, and syntax. Throughout the semester, selected poems will be used to exemplify various approaches to technique and subject matter.

Encounters with Literature

Every writer hopes for good readers, those who trust that engaged reading will be repaid. We will read works - stories, poems, and plays - that have earned that trust by rendering enduring human concerns in fresh and compelling ways. We will read closely, thinking about the relations between subject and technique, poetry and prose, and the design of the book and its contents. Assignments will require mastery and imaginative questioning of the literature and of critical matters. Come prepared to enjoy ancient and modern literature, those written in English and those translated into it, and to expand your sense of what it is to be human.

Ideas & Society  

Objects, Rituals, Belief

This undergraduate course explores the divergence and the synergy between the three monotheistic traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. By paying close attention to the theological insights of Monotheism as they are expressed in ritual and creeds, we will come to understand the objects and cultural practices of monotheistic faiths as a construct of belief. The course is composed of lecture-seminars, personal research, visits to worship sites, discussions with religious leaders, written assignments, and class presentations.

Film, Space, and Perception

With the advent of film, animation and virtual environments, have our methods of perception and understanding (as well as our modes of expression) changed radically? The goal of this course is to investigate in what ways the moving image may have influenced our perceptual apparatus. We'll investigate topics such as: historic changes in perception; perception v. experience - a new take on phenomenology; cultural implications of time & space; film/animation/TV/video as a frame of reference for a new language of perception. In addition to reading a selection of texts based on the topics mentioned, each class we will watch a film or selections from films for discussion.